Skipper Training Workshops & a Message from the Harbour Master

Summer’s here again and whether you go boating to enjoy some family fun, great fishing, or just relaxation with food and wine with friends out on the water, it’s important to remember “Safety First” when you’re on your vessel.
This Summer, Marlborough welcomes new Harbourmaster Luke Grogan, who has taken over from Alex van Wijngaarden who served 22 years in the role. We share this news from the Harbour master as a reminder to all to make sure the Sounds remains the place for enjoyable but also safe and responsible boating this season.





The Harbour Master Patrol vessel are on the water this summer to promote safe boating and encourage compliance with the navigation bylaws. The key safer boating message this year is Prep, Check, Know.
Prep your boat, check your gear and know the rules.  


To help achieve this the Harbour Master, Coastguard and  Maritime New Zealand and have teamed up to offer free skipper training workshops in Picton for anyone who wants to more about safe boating. You’ll spend a few hours with a qualified maritime tutor before heading off on a Coastguard vessel for practical tuition on-board.
The course is free and lunch is provided so if you’ve ever had questions about safe boating this is your opportunity to find out what you want to know. Courses are run regularly over summer and you can book in by calling the Harbours office.
Our Patrol Skippers are also giving out NPD fuel discount vouchers that provide 12 cents off per litre on NPD fuel. This is part of an NPD ‘Fuel for Safety’ campaign which focuses on ensuring your vessels is prepared for sea. To be eligible for a voucher just run through a safe boating checklist with our boat skippers to assess how your vessels stacks up. You’ll also go in a monthly draw to win and NPD prize pack including outdoor clothing and free fuel. So why not pull us over for a change and take part in ‘fuel for safety’.

On a more serious note, Marlborough has signed up to Maritime New Zealand’s no excuses enforcement programme. This programme will be run on five unspecified days during summer when no excuses will be accepted for any vessel found in breach of speed or lifejacket bylaws. If you can’t remember the rules then I strongly suggest enrolling in the course mentioned above, but here is a brief reminder of some key points.


  •  Lifejackets – A correct fitting lifejacket must be carried on-board for every person on the boat.

  •  Speed – Operate at less than 5 knots within 200 meters of the shore, any structure or a vessel displaying a dive flag. 5 knot marker boys identify high risk areas so if you exceed 5 knots in these areas you can expect  a fine.

Getting the balance right between education and enforcement is always tricky, but I’m confident we have things about right this year.
Take the time to ‘prep check know’ and enjoy your summer on the water

To book a free Skipper Training workshop, call the Harbours office on (03) 520 7400.


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